David is, after Jesus, my favorite Biblical person. I am fascinated by the dynamics of his life, his heart, and his relationship with the Lord. David seems to have the highest highs and the lowest lows of anyone else in Scripture and yet God’s summarizing statement of him both before he is first introduced as a young teenager (1 Samuel 13:14) as well as long after he had passed away (Acts 13:22) is “a man after God’s own heart.” Let’s examine how David is “Christian-Like” using The Redemption Bible!
[David’s story is quite extensive (though amazing), and so for the sake of time and space I will make connections categorically instead of chronologically.]
I. The Roller Coaster Life
David’s list of sins would boggle anyone’s eyes, and yet so would any Christian’s by the Lord’s perspective and standard of examining the heart. Yet David did not live a sad life of wallowing in guilt and condemnation; instead he lived an exhilarating life of being awestruck by God’s love. An important lesson we learn from him is to not be overwhelmed by condemnation but to be “overwhelmed” by who God is and His love for us. As Christians, we never want to minimize or dismiss our sin because it truly is terrible and evil; but at the same time, because of Jesus’ gift of righteousness to us through the cross, there is no condemnation for those who are in Him (Romans 8:1). The reality is that we are completely forgiven in and through Jesus and are pure in God’s eyes (2 Corinthians 5:21). God truly enjoys those who are in Christ. He takes our love very seriously and is deeply touched and moved by it even though it is still weak and flawed.
I really like Gabe’s previous signature quote on the Message Board that illustrates this point: “We are more evil than we ever dared to believe, and yet more loved than we ever hoped to imagine.”
II. A Person of “One Thing”
David lived a life of fascination with God. The rule of his heart was that he desired above all else to love, obey, and please the Lord. In his innermost being he lived before an audience of One. The Psalms are filled with his longing for knowing God intimately, gazing upon His beauty, and finding the satisfaction of his soul in Him alone. In Psalm 27:4 David said, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”
David made life choices in which this primary devotion to God was evident. An obvious example is the extremely famous “David vs. Goliath” showdown. The Philistines were threatening Israel and were very intimidating. Their army featured the family of giants that Goliath belonged to: his brothers were Lahmi, Saph, Ishbibenob, and The Twelve-Fingered Giant. All of them were sons of a man simply known as “The Giant” (2 Sam. 21:22)! Goliath was the super-warrior of the family, the champion, and no wonder – he stood at 9’9” tall with 125 pounds of armor around his chest and a spear tipped with a 15 pound iron spearhead. A Philistine Armor Bearer held (and more realistically was) his shield (as if he needed one!).
The Bravery of David was shown in stark contrast to King Saul’s Doubt as Saul cowered in fear along with the rest of the Israelites as Goliath threatened them for 40 days, demanding a challenger to fight him in a duel. When David was sent by his father with Provisions for his brothers who were soldiers in Israel’s army and heard Goliath’s Arrogance and irreverent taunts against God and Israel, David was enraged and insisted on taking on the giant himself.
This Faith of David was not new – he had previously killed both lion and bear as a young shepherd to defend his flock of sheep, and trusted that God would empower him once again. King Saul tried to give David his Helmet of Brass and Coat of Mail, but they didn’t fit, so he approached Goliath with only David’s Staff and Five Smooth Stones (perhaps one for each of the giant brothers, as they were likely all there for the great battle!) to be used in David’s Sling.
Trusting that The Battle is the Lord’s, David ran at Goliath and slew him with one stone shot from his sling. David’s Victory was complete as he cut off the giant’s head with his own sword, held it up as a statement of God’s power over evil, and the Philistines fled in fear. This event really foreshadows Jesus’ victory over the seemingly-insurmountable “Goliaths” of death, hell, and the kingdom of darkness. It also showed David’s willingness to give his all for God.
Years later, after King Saul was killed in a battle versus the Philistines, one of the most telling moments of David’s heart is what he did next. Instead of just taking the kingship for himself (after all, it was prophesied of him 13 years earlier by Samuel, the nation wanted him to be king, and Saul had unjustly tried to kill him for 7 years while he was on the run with David’s Mighty Men), David went to the Lord with A Solider’s Prayer of two questions: 1) “Shall I go up?” and 2) “To which shall I go up?” (2 Samuel 2:1). In essence he was asking God “Would you like for me to be king? If so, to what extent do you want me to be king – over all of Israel or some of it?”
Clearly David’s life vision, his supreme goal, was NOT to be king. It was to please the Lord and to do His will. He got off into sin many times (as any Christian does), but he truly lived a life of repentance and overall sought to love the Lord with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength (as all Christians should – Jesus called this the first, greatest, and most important commandment).
III. The True Repenter
In contrast to Seeds of Rebellion in Saul’s heart that were shown by his lack of repentance, David was a true and sincere repenter. “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” we are told in Matthew 3:8; that is exactly what David did. When caught in sin he sought the Lord’s mercy and strove to walk uprightly from that time on. The encounter with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite is a great example. When Nathan confronted him about his sin he repented with all of his heart and life as we can see in Psalm 51, the heartfelt repentance lamentation he wrote at that time.
Yet he didn’t “over-repent” in a religious spirit of trying to earn God’s favor either. When the baby that he had with Bathsheba died though David prayed and fasted for him for one week, David immediately worshipped God and resumed his life as normal.
Overall, we see from David that a Christian is to be as a bride is to her bridegroom – FULLY devoted to the Lord!
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